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Compliments are swirling after brewery makes beer with treated sewer water

In this 2015 photo, bottles of beer are cleaned using recycled non-potable water during the bottling process at Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, Calif.
In this 2015 photo, bottles of beer are cleaned using recycled non-potable water during the bottling process at Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, Calif. Associated Press

Stone Brewing Co.’s latest sudsy creation earned a quick nickname: “Toilet to tap.”

The southern California brewery’s new craft beer is made with treated wastewater.

The brave souls who taste-tested the Full Circle Pale Ale on Thursday were flush with excitement, calling the beer “delicious,” “hoppy” and “outstanding,” according to local media reports.

“It is fantastic,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told The Times of San Diego after sampling it. “There’s no better way to highlight the purity of this water.”

The Escondido-based craft brewing company, one of the largest in the country, brewed five barrels of the beer with purified water from San Diego’s demonstration Pure Water Facility, according to the Times.

The goal of the city’s Pure Water program is to clean enough wastewater to provide one-third of its water supply in the future.

City officials hailed the beer as a milestone for its efforts, and some can’t wait for the recycled water to be made available to other breweries in the area.

Stone Brewing’s Steve Gonzalez admitted he was skeptical at first of creating a beer from the recycled water. But now?

“Among the pale ales that I’ve made, it’s probably in the top three,” Gonzalez, the company’s senior manager of brewing and innovation, told KGTV in San Diego.

He called it a “clean-tasting beer” with “caramel notes, some tropical fruit notes.”

He told the Times the recycled water only needed a few salts to be perfect for brewing.

The brewery’s chief operating officer, Pat Tiernan, told the Times that changing sources of water — including the Colorado River — during California’s long drought challenged the brewery because they all required unique processing methods.

He was open to the idea of having a stable supply of recycled water to use.

“This particular water will just help us not require so much natural water to come in and give us a more reliable source,” Tiernan told San Diego 6. “So for us to be able to re-use, that’s part of our mantra, that’s part of what we do.”

Shane Trussell, one of the people who taste-tested the beer last week, told KGTV he worried the beer would have an off taste, but his final verdict was “outstanding.”

Fellow beer fan Noelle Dorman also liked the taste.

“It’s a well-known brewery with a great reputation, so I don’t think you can really go wrong and it’s an important cause and I’m impressed. I really like it,” she told San Diego 6.

The Full Circle Pale Ale is not for sale yet, but the company hopes to make it available soon, KGTV reported.

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